What's with Imus? Ever since Washington Whispers reported that Don Imus and Fox Business network might part ways, the shock jock has regularly talked about it on his 6 a.m-9 a.m show also simulcast on ABC Radio.
Much of his chatter has been appreciative to Whispers, especially to our illustrator, Ed Wexler, who drew our cartoon of Imus with Fox Business boss Neil Cavuto. But when it comes to his TV bosses quoted in the item, well, the I-Man has flashed his fangs. In our original story, Executive Vice President Kevin Magee told Whispers: "Imus has helped us enormously and he still has awhile to go on his contract." Imus has been displeased that Magee's statement didn't offer further job security. Imus has a three year contract, but he broke a previous three-year deal with RFD TV to jump to Fox.
We also chuckled at how Imus misread part of the item. We heard that Fox Business will be profitable sooner than originally projected. A FBN spokesperson wouldn't confirm it—networks rarely talk profits and losses—but Imus mistook that for a comment on the status of his show.
So should he be worried? After a little digging, Whispers has stumbled upon the reason Imus is nervous. His ratings stink. Since he arrived at the network in October 2009, the 6 a.m.-9 a.m. Imus In The Morning show has lost 58 percent of its viewers and has frequently been beaten by the show Imus was supposed to draw viewers to, Varney & Co. When he started, Imus drew an average of 136,000 viewers a day. That slid to 110,000 by January 2010. And last January, his Nielsen ratings slacked off even further, to just 57,000 average daily viewers.